I am hellishly behind. Still excited. But the words are slowing down.
But here's this:
Two minutes later, we sat on the floor of the bathroom together, side by side. With his breathing returned to normal, he was twirling the inhaler between his long fingers, staring blankly at the opposite wall. We could have sat there forever, in pregnant silence, postponing what I thought was the inevitable. But that was almost more painful than hearing the truth. I clasped my hands and turned to look at him.
“So… about what you were saying before?”
He took in a deep breath, and looked back at me. “I don’t know. I feel like I’m at war with myself. And I’ve been praying and praying. And it seems like God is saying nothing in response. And I don’t know if that means, “no,” or if I’m supposed to wait, or what.”
I rubbed the side of his arm, lacking any comforting thing to say.
“I’m just completely lost here,” he said, blowing out his breath in a rush. “Oh, Jesus, where am I supposed to go?”
“I’ll come be lost with you,” I said, my voice small. He looked down at me, mouth in a small, sad smile.
“Shit, you make this hard,” he told me.
“I’m sorry. Is this struggle hitting you all at once, or have you been thinking about it for a while?”
“A while, I guess. I’m just confused. This was a completely black and white issue for me before. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Because it is sin, right? I mean, it’s in the Bible. God’s destruction…” His voice faded.
I tightened my grip on his arm. “I love you,” I said firmly. “Is that a sin?”
He looked at me with clear blue eyes, and slowly shook his head.
“You look terrified,” I said, trying to smile.
He shook his head. “I’ve never been this uncertain before. It’s a little disarming.”
“Someone very wise once told me that we are called to lives of instability and uncertainty so God can work through us.”
He laughed, because I was quoting him. “You don’t believe that, though.”
“So?” I asked. “You do. Maybe God’s trying to teach you through this. Maybe your understanding of the law is wrong, or too narrow minded, or too legalistic. Maybe he’s transforming your mind into the image of his own.” A wave of guilt washed over me as I spoke these words. I can speak the language of Christian. I know Bible references, I know clichés, I know, I know, I know… I felt like I was manipulating him with my words. But I didn’t want to lose him to his faith. But I didn’t want his faith to lose him, either. If anyone could find congruence between Christianity and homosexuality that made sense to me, it would be him. He could save me.
“Maybe you’re right,” he said, voice small. He rubbed at his eyes with the tips of his fingers. “All of this thinking makes me feel like my head’s about to explode.”
“Exploding head is probably not the best thing. Take a break from thought. Want to go get some coffee?”
“That would be good.”
I nodded to myself, and stood up. Offering my hands out to him, he laced his fingers in mine and pulled himself off the floor.
“Don’t worry,” I said in what I hoped was a reassuring way. “You’ll figure things out.”
He nodded his head, chewing on the inside of his cheek, and we walked out of the bathroom together.
I was scared for him. I didn’t want to see him break over this issue. It was a struggle: I knew firsthand how much. You live your entire life, happy, blissful, close minded, and unaware, believing in one thing, when suddenly your whole person, the very life you’re leading conflicts directly with that belief. What do you do? You’ve done nothing wrong, but this huge gate with spikes on the bottom of it has suddenly crashed down between you and everyone you know, everything you believe, and you’re left without anything to grasp onto but the cold, unforgiving metal stinging at your hands.